LACF Grants Portfolio 2020

LACF Awards $42,500 in Grants for 2020

The Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation is pleased to present  a Portfolio collection of the 8 selected award winning projects for 2020 in support of research, communication and scholarship.  This year there were 6 professional awards and 2 student awards. 

The grants awarded for 2020 cover a broad range of topics and tackle issues important to all landscape architects, affiliates and to the profession itself. Annual grant proposals are adjudicated and awarded by a National Jury composed of six individuals from public, private and academic practices areas, representing the different regions of Canada.

Professional Grants


P1: # 155  Winnipeg Architecture Foundation Research Project: Women Landscape Architects in Manitoba / Principal Author: Marieke Gruwel / Grant: $4,000, recipient of the Gunter Schoch Bursary

Through archival research and oral history interviews, this project will document women landscape architects who practiced in Manitoba during the second half of the twentieth century. This research will inform the writing of a chapter for an upcoming publication. The book—tentatively titled Women + Design—documents women architects, landscape architects, and design professionals who worked in Manitoba during the twentieth century. The book will be published by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation as part of their new monograph series. An exhibition and free public lecture, both of which will feature the work of women landscape architects, will accompany the launch of the publication in early 2021.

Indigenous Walking Tour Toronto, Urban Policy Lab, Kristen Wells

P2: #156 MAPPING TORONTO: Engaging Indigenous Knowledge / Principal investigators: Jane Wolff and Jennifer Wemigwans Grant: $9,000

A long-term mapping endeavour on the Toronto area landscape’s evolution from pre-colonial times to the present. The LACF grant will support respectful engagement with and ethical mobilization of Indigenous knowledge re-establishing lost connections with layers related to the landscape, and prepares the way for mapping sus-tainable development into the future. Initiated by the City of Toronto’s Planning Division and connected with City of Toronto initiatives on biodiver.sity, climate resilience and place-making strategies, this long-term project will bring together expertise in the landscape’s natural and cultural histories. As a publicly accessible digital tool, it will provide historical and con.temporary information as a basis for discussion about the future. The project will make information available to diverse audiences and constituencies: landscape architects, planners, educators, students, policy makers and citizens. Indigenous knowledge is an essential cornerstone of the endeavour, both in the historical record and as a way of facilitating continuing conversation and involvement with Indigenous peoples. This approach recognizes the depth and importance of regional knowledge that goes back millennia.

Vancouver time travel_ 2019, photo Jean Landry 

P3: #157 THE ESSENCE OF TIME - A Speculative Reflection on Landscape Architecture / Jean Landry, AAPQ-FCSLA,MBA / Grant : $5,000

The profession of landscape architecture has experienced tremendous growth since the beginning of the new millennia and its governance and support structures have grown along with the profession. The CSLA, the LACF, the provincial component associations, accredited university programs and international organizations are well entrenched in their defence, promotion, development and support of the profession. The main goal of this project would be to gather and make available to all an illustrated e-book of the con.tent of a panel of four (4) renowned speakers/thinkers’ presentations to be held during the CSLA-AALA 2020 congress in Calgary. The e-book will specifically contain all the original illustrated texts on which the presenta.tions were based. The e-book would include an introduction/preamble and a conclusion based on the discus.sions/ questions that are to follow the presentations. All pertinent references and acknowledgements would be included.

Enchanted Rock, United States, photo: Rico Larroque from Unsplash

P4: # 158  Nature, self, and being in the world: Revealing a flourishing ethics in landscape architecture through poignant landscape experiences / Van Thi Diep, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University Grant: $7,000, recipient of the Donald Graham Communications Bursary

Landscape, while not synonymous with nature, is inseparable from the notion of nature. No matter how nature is culturally or historically constructed, it always carries with it an existential question about a relationship that is performed through life experiences. Landscapes provide settings for a variety of experiences, from the most mundane to the most poignant. Landscape architects shape these environ.ments. Social and environmental ethics influence life choices, personally and professionally. However, conven.tional ethics based on binary judgements are paradoxical, and therefore ineffective. The idea of flourishing sees morality as relational and that ethical individuals make autonomous choices to flourish within a world of social and ecological systems. This project asks what a flourishing life and a flourishing environment really means to landscape architects. Concurrently, it questions how poignant landscape experiences create meaning for landscape architects as they strive to create flourishing environments for others.

Atlantic rooftop example: Seaport Farmers' Market Green Roof, Halifax, NS, photo: james ingram

P5: #159  Native Plant Mixtures for Atlantic Canada Green Roofs 

Jeremy Lundholm, Saint Mary's University Grant: $6,500 Rooftop experiments have demonstrated the suitability of native plants in green roof applications in Atlantic Canada, yet there has been little incorporation of natives into green roof designs. This project will evaluate native plant mixture chosen from top performing species in previous studies, and quantify the costs and benefits of different propagation techniques and horticultural treatments. We will produce a concise set of protocols for the propagation of native species for use on shallow growing media green roofs in the region, including comparison of different propagation and horticultural options (use of Sedum species, lichens and mosses and a locally-sourced growing medium). Given the recent adoption of a green roof by-law that will encourage green roof development in Halifax an Dartmouth, the results of this project are expected to increase the use of native plants in green roofs in the region and diversify the plant palette available for landscape design.

Enhancing biodiversity, photo: Parks People / Amis des Parcs

P6: #160 Enhancing biodiversity, growing stewardship: Learning from community-embedded micro-initiatives in Canadian cities 

Park People/Amis des Parcs Grant: $ 6,500 Large, naturalized parks are vital in making our cities livable for humans and non-humans alike. But pocket parks, pop-ups, vacant lots, and other interstitial spaces can also play a critical role in improving urban biodiversity, especially when community members get involved. Through exploring Canadian case studies where cities and communities have taken the lead to enhance urban nature, we will identify best practices for design, stewardship, and management. We will focus on city-supported grassroots initiatives that nurture a sense of place-based stewardship, building community connections to nature alongside supporting local ecosystems.

Student Grants

S1: #161 Navigating Loss and Damage: creating space for ecological grief in the participatory climate adaptation planning process 

Quinn Howard, MLA Candidate, University of Guelph / Grant: $2,000

Nansan's Ridge, Cunningham Inlet, NU; Photo: Quinn Howard

The climate and Canadian landscape is changing. Average temperatures across Canada have increased by roughly 1.7° C, and are expected to continue rising, causing significant loss and damage throughout Canada. In response to these new realities, municipalities across Canada are moving toward adaptation, with action focused primarily on mitigation and infrastructural adaptation. While these efforts are significant, they continue to fall short in situations, such as managed retreat, where transformational change is required. Drawing on three bodies of knowledge - participatory climate adaptation planning, therapeutic planning and ecological grief - the goal of this research is to develop a climate adaptation planning process grounded in the physical and felt implications of climate-related loss. By engaging the planning process in the “the work of mourning”, this research leverages decisions made at the scale of place to strengthen adaptive capacity and build momentum for proactive adaptation.

Chignecto Isthmus, from photo: Irwin Barrett_ Nature Canada Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) website >

S2: # 163 Chignecto Isthmus: Future Prospects / Avery Clarke, MLA candidate, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto / Grant: $2,500

The Chignecto Isthmus is a narrow strip of land at the crossroads of the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This low-lying landscape is a tapestry of rich culture, communities, ecologies, and infrastructure. The agricultural lands tell a history of land reclamation and occupation, the salt marsh ecosystem is one of the largest in North America, and the Trans-Canada Highway and CN railway are vital trade corridors for the Atlantic provinces. Climate change, sea level rise, and subsiding dikes mean a 1 in 50 year storm at high tide will inundate the Isthmus and adjacent communities, separating Nova Scotia from the rest of the country and costing it’s economy $51million inter-provincial and international trade per day. Remarkably, the Isthmus has no regulatory protection or adaptive strategy. This thesis will develop a set of regionally specific coastal adaptation design strategies to protect the Chignecto Isthmus from inundation and erasure of important heritage, ecologies, and infrastructure.

The Board of the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation extends its congratulations to the many individuals and component associations, who through their annual donations, make these grants possible.

For further information contact:

Faye Langmaid, FCSLA, MCIP, Chair of the Annual Grants Program: